Jon Wuebben is the CEO of Content Launch, a web content development and strategy firm that provides content for hundreds of companies, digital agencies, web designers and others around the world. He’s also the author of “Content is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web & Mobile” and “Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web”. All this adds up to making him the perfect subject for an interview on something we have a wee bit of an interest in: content.
1. The word “content” is really a blank slate–like Chrissy from Three’s Company-blank, if we can make an extremely dated sitcom reference. So how do you define what’s good and bad content?
Good content is unique. It finds a way to connect in new ways. It’s like a really good magazine article, written by someone with a personality. Think of the last great article you read, whether it was Rolling Stone, INC, or Pets Monthly–you know it when you see it. Bad content is approx. 50% of what you see out there…it looks and sounds like all the rest.
2. How is content creation different from advertising?
Content creation is part of what’s called “inbound” marketing; getting prospects to contact you after they engage with your great content. Advertising is “outbound” marketing; it’s push marketing–and it’s way out of date. It doesn’t work nearly as well as great content can. It’s also really expensive. Always think content marketing first because it will take you much farther.
3. Can you have quality content without a healthy supply of keywords?
Not really. If you want to rank in the search engines, which you should, keyword research will always be important. Having said that, a great infographic won’t use keywords, but you will tag it.
4. Is content something that only certain types of businesses need to worry about? I mean, does a hot dog vendor have anything to gain or lose from your philosophy?
90% of companies should be engaged in content marketing. Essentially, it’s providing tips, ideas, how to’s or anything else that will help your prospective customers do something easier in life. That covers a lot of territory. It can come in the form of a blog, video, case study, email, social media update, and many other ways.
5. Do customers really want new ways to connect with businesses as you say? Or do businesses just want more ways to contact their customers?
Both are true. I know lots of companies I do business with that don’t have a Twitter page and I wish they did. That’s how I want to communicate with them.
6. Are Foursquare and other sites that let you “check in” at a business fading in popularity?
I think so. I haven’t ever been that interested in it and it seems like a waste of time. But, there are people that love engaging with Foursquare, GoWalla and others. I guess if I was a brick and mortar retailer, I would at least look into using it to connect with new customers. But anyone over the age of 40 isn’t really into it hat much, based on those I talk with.
7. Can a company really know what kind of content will be savored by its customers without test marketing it first?
No, a test is really important. So is looking at the competition and what they are doing.
8. How does business-to-business content creation differ from that for customers?
B2B is more about helping them make a buying decision, giving them all the facts and details they need to help with that. Webinars, for example, are huge for B2B content, but not with B2C–that’s the difference
9. What’s your favorite page in your book “Content is Currency” and why?
Pages 248-250 are great stuff. Sorry, I cant pick just one page 😉
10. Is creating content for a book about creating content more or less difficult than following the plot of Inception?
It’s very difficult. It’s got to be easy to read, substantive and stand alone; those are three things that are difficult to do simultaneously.
Jon Wuebben is the author of “Content is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web & Mobile” and “Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web”.